The official representative of the US Department of defense Michelle Baldanza said that the Pentagon has begun to develop parts of a new ground-based cruise missile, which was previously banned by the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range missiles (INF), unilaterally terminated by Washington.
According to the Pentagon spokesman, now when “the US is no longer bound by its obligations under the INF TREATY, there are options to develop its military capabilities”. “These studies and developments will be reversible if Russia returns to full and verifiable compliance with its obligations before we withdraw from the Treaty in August 2019”, Baldanza said, adding that the new missile will not have a “nuclear stuffing.”
The British the Guardian quotes the opinion of Sergei Rogov, Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences: “the Return of medium-range missiles to Europe will create a much more dangerous situation than the nuclear confrontation of the 1980s. If new the US missiles are deployed in the Baltic countries, their flight time to Russia will be three to four minutes”. Rogov also noted that in October last year, the US national security adviser John Bolton assured that the US withdrawal from the INF does not mean hostile intentions towards Russia, but he can not guarantee that the US missiles will not be deployed near the Russian borders.